See what’s happening in the Department of Design, including our
faculty events and
exhibitions, lectures, awards, research, study abroad
programs, graduate and alumni honors, and more. Read
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The China Shop, a
new faculty-led initiative, features residency artists embedded
into scientific laboratories, creating access to the minds and
equipment available only at top research laboratories. The
project welcomes its first resident artist Jiabao Li by hosting an open
The exhibition features traditional textiles from Africa, Asia
and South America collected by Paul J. Smith, Director Emeritus
of the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City. These items
have inspired contemporary design works by UC Davis students that
are also showcased, highlighting the continuing relevance of
traditional cultures and how they drive design thinking in new
An exhibition that turns garments inside out to show their
structure, “Shape Up: Case Studies in Fashion Making” opens
the UC Davis Design Museum’s 2019-2020 season on Sept. 23.
Showcasing clothing from Africa, Asia and Central America as well
as western garments from the UC Davis Jo Ann C. Stabb Design
Collection, this exhibition reveals the hidden structures,
patterns and shaping methods that underlie fashion creation.
Susan Taber Avila, professor of Design, recently
participated in the World of Wearable
Art competition, held in Wellington, New Zealand. Her
“In Bloom” creation was a finalist in the awards competition and
was included in all of the 2018 30th anniversary
performances for this annual event.
A team of students representing UC Davis took the Biodesign Challenge for the
first time and came away with the Outstanding Science
Award and was runner up for the top prize at the event.
Team Sorbit from UC Davis,
which included design and economics double major Julie Xu,
created a diaper of bacterial cellulose with enhanced absorbency
and biodegradability. The event was recently held at the
Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Join Jennifer for the installation event of her MFA thesis
project: LUMENroute! For one night only the Walnut Park Tunnel in
South Davis will come alive as a series of motion-activated light
fixtures surround participants with color and light. Then take a
moment to enjoy a beautiful evening in the park at the LUMENroute
seating area, glowing with light, color, music, and laughs! This
project has been created with the support of the City of Davis
Arts and Culture Affairs Fund Award and the CITRIS Connected
Communities Initiative Mini-Grant.
Beth Ferguson, assistant professor of design, has won
an Austin Green Award for the creation of a solar charging
station in the city of Austin. Ferguson’s firm Sol Design Lab was the driving
force of the project.
The completed project, Electric
Drive: The Future of Renewable Energy Mobility, is located on
West 2nd Street in Austin.
Design innovation in the Product Design Lab recently found
students re-purposing recycled campus street signs into
furniture. Under the guidance of Beth Ferguson, assistant
professor of design, the students in the new course, DES165
Studio Practices in Industrial Design, created tables, chairs,
lighting fixtures and bike racks out of the discarded
A UC Davis design student team was selected as one of six
national finalists in the SOFA Chicago CONNECT Competition in
November 2017. UC Davis was the only California school among the
prestigious design program finalists.
The UC Davis design team consisted of Victoria Chau, Sierra
Kennedy, Jessica Jade Lam and Sandra Bae.
Susan Taber Avila, professor of design, has made invaluable
contributions to a new book series on fiber art. “Artistry
in Fiber” by Anna Lee and E. Ashley Rooney is a three-book
series which includes a volume titled
“Wearable Art” featuring a foreward by Avila. In
addition, examples of Avila’s work appear in all three books.
Brett Snyder, associate professor of design, and Beth
Ferguson, assistant professor of design, are part of a group
selected for a year-long project bringing together local
residents, public officials and experts to develop projects to
strengthen resilience to sea level rise, severe storms, flooding
While at UC Davis, Christina Johnson learned the
university’s commitment to innovation and sustainability. As a
proud Aggie, Johnson has developed a business Upcycle It Now, which has
encompasses that theory.
While majoring in Design it was at UC Davis that Christina took
her first class in sustainability with Ann Savageau. From then on
she knew sustainable design was her calling, so she is proud to
circle back and be able to upcycle a piece of her campus she
holds in such high regard.
Presenting the work of undergraduate seniors, “Moving Out, Design
by Design Undergraduate Senior Showcase” is an annual juried
exhibition that celebrates the breadth, talent, creativity and
multidisciplinary coursework from the Department of Design.
What are you doing these days? We want to hear about your life
since you graduated with a Design degree. Are you working,
attending grad school, or starting a family? Please fill out this
form to tell us about your travels, accomplishments or
future plans. If you have a website we would like to post a link
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